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My friend Emma

Hey Sam. I need some help my friend Emma is not like the other students in our school so people bully her because she doesn't know what to do. For example she tells people who she likes and it gets spread around the school then people mess around with her asking her if she will go out wih them. Emma doesn't know what to do so she swears at them and walks away.

She has a crush at the moment and only a few people know. What shall I do to prevent her from getting bullied and upset if he doesn't like her?

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Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for writing to me about your friend Emma. You say that she is not like other students in your school, but I’m not sure exactly in what ways she is different. You give an example about how she tells people who she likes. I’m wondering if you mean that she is different in how she behaves, or if there are other things that people would notice.

Of course, in some ways we are all different from each other, but it is human nature to try to find things that you have in common with others when you want to feel part of a group. Sometimes some differences can seem to stand out and can be the focus of attention when people start to bully.

Bullying is always wrong and never the fault of the person who is experiencing bullying. It can be helpful for people who are being bullied to see what can be done to stop it from happening. There is a lot of advice for everyone who is affected by bullying on the bullying page in the Explore section. This can be helpful to people who are being bullied, a friend of someone being bullied, or even someone who has been bullying someone else.

Emma is finding out what happens when she tells a lot of people personal things about herself. Sharing personal information can be risky because once information or a photo is out there, it can be difficult to control what happens to it. It can take time to learn who can be trusted with your private thoughts and perhaps you could talk to Emma about that.

Many young people talk to ChildLine about their personal problems because we are private and confidential except in rare case where someone’s life is in danger. You can take a look at the confidentiality page for more information about our policy.

It can be difficult to control feelings and reactions when being bullied, but Emma is probably finding that swearing at others doesn’t help stop what is happening. Being bullied can cause lots of different feelings, and anger can be one of them. It is natural to feel angry, but how people deal with anger can be important as it can make a difference to what happens next. You could take a look at the anger page in the Explore section for more information and advice.

Emma is lucky to have such a good friend as you and it is great that you’re trying to help her. Perhaps together you can both think about the best way forward. Remember that ChildLine is always there for you both when you need some more help and advice, or simply someone to listen. You can talk to a ChildLine counsellor by calling 0800 1111 for free or by logging on for a 1-2-1 chat.

Take care,

Sam

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